Birthdays, gardens and even more cupcakes

Born in July, I’m used to sweaty, sultry birthdays. I can’t recall a July 18 that wasn’t an assault on my already-frizzy hair, and 2010 was no different — but we still made it work!

Being all into photography and pretty things, we made a trip to Wheaton, Md., to visit Brookside Gardens — a 50-acre destination that came highly recommended by my good friend Erin. I wanted to see beauty! Gardens! Loveliness! And we definitely found it all at Brookside, though the temperatures soared in the afternoon to around 95 degrees. With ten thousand percent humidity.

Mom, Katie, Spencer and I were troopers and managed to walk for a few hours, though. I still managed to grab some decent shots before we just. couldn’t. take it. anymore. After making a circuit around the grounds and visiting the butterfly exhibit — butterflies everywhere! — we headed back to Southern Maryland and grabbed sweet, cold sodas en route.

Did I mention we got a flat tire on our way up — and on the Beltway? On my birthday? We totally did. Luckily, my faith in humanity was once again restored as someone immediately pulled up behind us to help put the spare on — which was awesome, considering I didn’t have a lug wrench. And apparently, lug wrenches are needed to change tires. Who knew? This is why you should travel with dudes. Or, in my case, become less of a female stereotype and figure automotive things out on your own. (Doubtful. I’m too busy reading to care.)

Still, butterflies! Flowers! Macro photography! It was a good day. And yes, I had plenty of cupcakes to celebrate — and a creme brulee at Bonefish Grill, complete with homemade whipped cream and a lit candle. I even straightened my hair with my brand-new straightener for the occasion, so you know it was special!

Happy blogoversary to me!

write meg! turns one

Photo by awesome Flickr user Jessica N. Diamond

Photo by awesome Flickr user Jessica N. Diamond

One year ago today, write meg! emerged from the precipice of one seriously intrigued but creatively stunted Meg. After talking with my friend Brandon about the world of blogging, I decided it was time I take the plunge and reemerge on the interwebz. I’d run websites before — fan sites for Hanson and ‘NSYNC, there-I-said-it! — but hadn’t maintained a personal website in forever. I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about or whether I had anything really unique to say . . . but it seemed like something new, challenging and exciting to try, and blogging is a natural evolution of sites I’ve done before!

Though I didn’t start blogging in earnest until September, you can see my scattered thoughts from the summer — including my very first post. After I quit my job at the bookstore in the fall and started looking for new ways to discuss my favorite novels, I quickly tumbled into the world of book blogs — and yowzah! There was no turning back after that. I think the first book blog I really read and became devoted to was Rebecca’s — The Book Lady’s Blog.

Some other firsts for write meg!? How about my first real book review, for Jennifer Weiner’s Little Earthquakes? Or my very first comment — from Adam, who offered me some encouragement as I discussed sending out query letters again? Oh, the thrill of getting your very first comment! Who can forget the moment you realized that someone was actually reading all this?

One year, 1,300 comments and almost 46,000 hits later, I’m proud of the nice little home I’ve built on the web where I can discuss . . . well, anything! I love combining life experiences with my book discussions and reviews, and having a place to share my photography, recipes and personal anecdotes as well. I’m entirely grateful to all the kind folks who regularly visit, offer awesome insights and generally don’t make fun of me for my obsessions with photographing food, John Mayer, everything British and, as of late, Mr. Marcus Flutie — and for the authors, publishers and agents who have shared their novels with me!

THANK YOU! Here’s to another wonderful year!

Meg’s Top Three Posts

An ode to my favorite fall music
Due to the economy
Book review: ‘Princess Diaries X: Forever Princess’ by Meg Cabot
(Linked by Meg Cabot in January. WAHOO!)

Meg’s Favorite Posts

Sunday at the museums
My growingly alarming pumpkin obsession
Peanut butter paradise!
The BookMooch journals
My big, fat London weekend!

Meg’s Favorite Book Reviews

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Princess Diaries X: Forever Princess by Meg Cabot
Looking For Alaska by John Green
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green